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To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? No heated debates, please. This is simply curiosity.

I feel very fortunate. In Michigan, you simply have to sign a waiver to opt out of vaccinations for the school district and they accept--no questions asked and are very supportive. Our pediatrician doesn't question our decision--when the vaccines are due according to schedule we simply say "we don't vaccinate" and he says "OK" and moves on. I've heard horror stories about school districts refusing to admit children that aren't vaccinated--probably in other states--and I find it obnoxious.

I remember being a younger mom with my first child and I felt intimidated by the doctors and pretty much did everything they said without question. I am now older, wiser (I hope!) and more confident in my ability as a parent--and more confident to disagree with our pediatrician. Come to find out--disagreeing with him is fine! He's been more than supportive--go figure!

Answer Question

Asked by SPreece at 8:18 PM on Apr. 19, 2011 in Kids' Health

Level 4 (42 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • I vaccinate. My decision to vaccinate my child affects more than just him, it affects everyone he comes into contact with. My dad has MS so we have to be extra careful.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 8:22 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I vaccinated all 3 of my kids. They are now 26, 24, and 17and other than a little crankiness, they never had any effects from their vaccinations. My daughter vaccinated both my granddaughters, and they have both been fine,as well. I"m not bashing anyone who opts not to, I'm just sharing our positive experience.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 8:22 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I knew I hadn't vaccinated my kids. These diseases that they prevent are a long list. Horrible diseases that can cause death and disfigurement and a lot of suffering. I won't be surprised if some adults will soon have to have certain vaccines again because there will be some unvaccinated kids spreading disease around.


    Answer by SweetLoveofMine at 8:23 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I am for immunization unless there is a medical reason not to. Many pediatricians will oblige when you say not to vaccinate . . . you are a paying customer, right? And. sometimes the money that a customer represents is worth more to the doc than the health of the child. they can't do it against your will, anyway.

    As far as I can tell, there is no good reason to withhold. Much of the "scare" has been misinformation.

    To each his own, though.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 8:24 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • my children have all their vaccinations, that's what i as a parent felt comfortable with.

    Answer by tnm786 at 8:25 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I vaccinated, but on a schedule I felt comfortable with. I never did get the chicken pox vax for my oldest because it was fairly new at the time, and my pediatrician even said he wouldn't recommend it. She got the chicken pox at age 3 with no complications. I've never felt intimidated by the doctor or by the school for any issue, and I doubt vaccines would be any different, had I decided not to vaccinate at all. Even now, we have moved and we have a different pediatrician. He's more pro-vaccine then our old doctor, but he still respects that I refuse to let my girls get gardasil. He asks every year anyway, but he doesn't push the issue. I tell him that when they are 18, and if they decide, after their own research, to get it, then fine, but not now.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 8:26 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Thanks for sharing--I had positive experiences with our oldest when vaccinating, no troubles there. I just decided we were better off not. I really feel for those who've had horrible experiences and who might face ridicule if they stop vaccinating.

    Comment by SPreece (original poster) at 8:27 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Personally, I feel that it should be on a more seperated schedule and honestly there are things I would not vac. for. In Fl. its REALLY not easy to not vac. ... I being overwhelmed I ended up doing it. On my best case scenario there are some I DO believe in example: meningitis one but MANY that I would do on a much more distant schedule... for example if by puberty you have NOT gotten chicken pox, mumps etc. I would DEF. vaccinate .... but not until then for MOST kids/families.
    I think families should have more info. and more say. For US I do do the Hep. vaccines because there IS a family member with hep.
    and I DO do Tetnus (just later than the recomendation) b/c well.... lockjaw is no fun and kids (or at least mine) will run barefoot.

    I did get kinda lucky in that I was able to do a more delayed schedule than the "recommended" -- although now they are caught up it wasn't till they started Kinder. that they were

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 8:32 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I went with the masses and vaccinated. If I knew then what I know now, I would have made a different choice. My kids aren't receiving anymore immunizations while they're in my care. I believe the drug companies "scare" us into thinking that is the ONLY way to protect our children. Many people don't realize that the majority of unvaccinated kids who are getting these diseases, are getting them FROM the vaccinated population. I don't think anyone should be forced to do something they don't want to and I hope it always remains a parents choice. We need to stop letting everyone else make our decisions for us.

    Answer by Renee3K at 8:35 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • Where we live parents have to have a form completed by their doctor to enroll their kids in school/sports if they choose not to vaccinate. I think the reasons listed are religious exception and medical reasons only. I like knowing that the kids my children are in sports and school with have the vaccinations they should. That's why we don't have certain diseases in our country, or why they are very rare.

    Answer by AntoinetteF at 8:37 PM on Apr. 19, 2011

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